With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University
Kevin Croke, Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank
David Roodman, Senior Advisor, GiveWell
Justin Sandefur, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
The WHO has recently debated whether to reaffirm its long-standing recommendation to deliver deworming drugs en masse to children in places with high worm prevalence. While deworming drugs are safe and cheap, a recent Cochrane review concluded there is “substantial evidence” that mass deworming has no impact on weight or other child outcomes, leading some to question the WHO policy.
Croke, Kremer, and co-authors revisit the Cochrane review’s methods and conclusions, drawing both policy lessons for an ongoing public health debate and methodological lessons for evidence synthesis more broadly. They argue that the Cochrane review’s conclusions were too conservative, confusing an absence of evidence from a small sample of studies with evidence of absence of a deworming effect. Based on their own analysis of a larger set of studies, Croke et al. conclude deworming’s effect is robustly positive, with a weight gain per dollar spent more than 35 times greater than found in RCTs of school feeding programs.
*The CIRF series is an academic research seminar that brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. There’s more about the series here.
On the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings 2019, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Bretton Woods Committee (BWC) will co-host this expert panel to discuss the future of the World Bank under its new president, David Malpass. What should top his agenda? What are the most important and urgent issues in the development landscape and what is the role of the World Bank in addressing these challenges? Join us to hear from this panel of global thought leaders offering recommendations for the future of the multilateral system.
How are beliefs about gender differences formed, and how do they affect children’s aspirations and academic performance? In this talk, Alex Eble will discuss recent work (co-authored with Feng Hu of the University of Science and Technology Beijing) on perceived gender gaps in mathematics in Chinese middle schools.
In a recent paper, Kate Ambler and coauthors studied the impact of one-season cash transfers for agricultural investment in Senegal and Malawi, using data from a randomized control trial (RCT) in each country. They found evidence that transfers reduced both the number of decision makers and female decision making in Senegal in the short-run, particularly for measures directly related to agriculture. However, the effects disappeared two years after the transfers. Conversely, the authors find transfers in the Malawi program led to robust transitory increases in these measures, seeing a greater impact related to the number of decision makers in the household persisting after two year period. Join us for the latest CGD Invited Research Forum to discuss these opposing findings on the effects of cash transfers on household decision making.
Indian agriculture remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, and the looming threat of climate change may expose this vulnerability further. Using district-level data on temperature, rainfall and crop production, Siddharth Hari’s paper first documents a long-term trend of rising temperatures, declining average precipitation and increase in extreme precipitation events. One key finding is that the impact of temperature and rainfall are felt only in the extreme: when temperatures are much higher, rainfall is significantly lower, and the number of “dry days” greater is than normal. He also finds that these impacts are significantly more adverse in unirrigated areas (and hence rainfed crops) compared to irrigated areas. Can policy makers react to the challenges of climate change and find ways to get “more crop for every drop?"